By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Someone with $6,500 to blow decided they wanted to spend it on the stitches used to sew up Andrew Shaw’s face after he suffered that famous gash in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals . . . but that isn’t nearly as interesting as the conversation the buyer is about to have with his wife when he tries to explain why it’s a good idea to put ‘em on display in the living room.
• Patrice Bergeron says that he’s “95 percent recovered” from the injuries he suffered during the playoffs and that he should be ready when the Bruins begin camp. The message from the B’s should be, “Take all the time you need, buddy.”
• It was all talk and no action in Calgary as Canada opened its Olympic orientation camp. Where’s Mario when you need him?
• Leave it to crusty ol’ Damien Cox to point out the obvious about this camp: Hockey Canada (and, really, every other national federation) is blowing an opportunity with this thing by being cheap.
• Sentimentality won’t play any part in deciding the Team Canada roster. “The team will be made up of players who can skate, think and move the puck,” said Kevin Lowe, who is a member of the management group. “There could be a number of changes from the gold-medal team in Vancouver.”
• Coach Mike Babcock says chemistry will not be a consideration when selecting players for Team Canada. That may qualify as the first dumb thing that Mike Babcock has ever said about hockey.
• Sidney Crosby says that while the Golden Goal is a great memory, he’s looking forward to new challenges in Sochi.
• Roberto Luongo is determined to prove to the Canucks, as well as to Team Canada, that he’s a No. 1 goalie.
• Jim Matheson writes that Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are going to have a hard time making the Canadian squad. I don’t know about that. A couple of natural wingers with serious jets? I think Hall’s a shoo-in, with Eberle also very likely to make the final roster.
• Meanwhile, in Wasington, D.C., Team USA broke up into two groups, the 1960 team and the 1980 team, for bonding and other activities—which is cool, but not as cool as the fact that the floor of the lobby at the host hotel looked like a hockey rink at the end of 20.
• Only one more go-to-sleep until the Americans unveil their Sochi jersey.
• Capitals coach Adam Oates says defenseman John Carlson is an easy choice for Team USA. Not that Oates is biased or anything.
• Gary Lawless says what we’re all thinking: This will be the last Olympics to include NHL players. Korea in 2018 would be a logistical nightmare. After that, the expense of insuring players may put an end to the fun altogether.
• Someone has to be the next captain of the Islanders. Might as well be John Tavares.
• Sure, he led the team in goals last season, but the Blues need more consistency from winger Chris Stewart in 2013-14. A commitment to playing in the greasy areas would go a long way, and with his size there’s no excuse for him to pussyfoot around the edges.
• The career of the first person of color to play in the NHL lasted exactly one shift. Here’s the story of Larry Kwong.
• Flash forward nearly seven decades and Jujhar Khaira is the top forward prospect in the Oilers’ system. Change hasn’t come quickly, but it certainly has arrived.